March 28, 2018 / 3:17 PM / 10 months ago

Lambert hopeful Stoke's internationals can return injury-free

Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs Everton - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - March 17, 2018 Stoke City manager Paul Lambert looks dejected after the match. Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

(Reuters) - Stoke City manager Paul Lambert is hopeful that striker Mame Biram Diouf can feature in Sunday’s Premier League match at Arsenal after playing for Senegal in their 0-0 draw against Bosnia on Tuesday.

Diouf picked up a shoulder injury in Stoke’s goalless draw at Southampton earlier this month, and the 30-year-old missed a game against Everton before the international break.

He played for 68 minutes in the French city of Le Havre on Tuesday for his first taste of action since March 3.

“Mame has been a miss for us, but he played for his country over the break so hopefully he is OK now,” Lambert told a news conference on Wednesday.

“Obviously, we are going to have to take a look at him, just as we are with all of the other lads who have been away from the club for a while.”

Stoke had seven players on international duty in the past 10 days and most of them were in action on Tuesday evening. Lambert said he would assess his squad ahead of the trip to north London only on Friday.

“We expect them to be because the word we have from them all right now is that they are OK,” he said.

However, midfielder Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will miss the game with a muscle injury.

Stoke are second from bottom in the league with 27 points and have seven games left to ensure top-flight status next season. Arsenal are sixth with 48 points.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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